To be very clear up front, we are deep inside the realm of measurement error and all sorts of short term transients.... but, it's hard to not note a little factoid that comes out of today's dump of regional employment data. There was a decent chunk of year over year job growth for the region as a whole, but a drop in manufacturing employment. Together it works out that the percentage of jobs in the region that are in the manufacturing sector has dropped to its all time (as in ever
) low, albeit you have to go to a 4th decimal place to say that. 7.495% of regional jobs are registering at manufacturing establishments. Now below the brief drop to 7.497
% as the region suffered the worst of the fallout from the "Great Recession" and the credit freeze that impacted all investment. That one data point you could have written off as a macroeconomic transient, but harder to discount current data which looks like a trend. Also what some still don't believe, but locally the % of jobs in manufacturing is well below the comparable % for the nation (8.77%). The region would need to gain over 15K manufacturing jobs just to get to a national average. Not likely soon when current prospects are for a few more drops including the Horseheads Zinc plant in beaver County due to close at the end of the year, though possibly extended a bit into the new year.
I just point that out because repeatedly people tell me there is some big jump in manufacturing employment specifically here in Pittsburgh. I suspect it is a perception driven by a lot of advertising to that effect. But if you look at the data you get this
and just to overparse, the October data is showing a year over year increase in "Education and Health Care" jobs of +8,600 which is the single biggest year over year change in any month going back to January 1990, which is all that is in the current dataset
. So two historic factoids for the price of one.